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Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs

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Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 17:02
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Top business schools continue progress toward gender parity of their student bodies. Despite this progress, many top schools are struggling to effectively address an academic performance gap between male and female students. While pipeline issues have long been suspected as a leading cause of this performance gap, new research from academics at Columbia Business School probes deeper into underlying factors contributing to the gender performance gap.

Through a series of empirical studies, including a survey of MBA students at a top business school and a review of archival performance data (e.g., grades, GMAT scores) from multiple cohorts of students, the researchers uncover two driving causes of the performance gap: the background of students and their behavior in MBA classrooms.

The new research brings hard evidence to an issue that has been widely debated in recent years largely on the basis of anecdotes and opinions. The new studies show—consistently for several recent student cohorts—that the gender performance gap in MBA students exists primarily in technically-oriented classes like accounting and finance, but not in socially-oriented classes like leadership and marketing.

“These findings shed new light on the scope and source of the gender performance gap at top business schools,” said Michael Morris, the Chavkin-Chang Professor of Leadership at Columbia Business School and an author of the study. “But more importantly, they offer business school leaders directions for policies to effectively redress the grade gap.”
Background – Interests and Aptitudes
One source of the performance gap in technical-oriented classes is students’ backgrounds. Interests were assessed from entering students’ admissions applications as well as their responses to career counseling inventories. Not unexpectedly, given that psychological studies find consistent gender differences in interests from childhood onward, results revealed that more female students fit the “poet” interest profile and more men the “quant” profile.

A similar difference appeared when looking at GMAT scores, which was more surprising to the researchers given that such aptitudes do not appreciably differ by gender in the general MBA population.

These initial findings establish what top MBA programs are up against. From the very first day of the programs, male and female students differ on average in their interests, aptitudes, and the prior experiences that go along with them. This, in turn, gives rise to a key gender norm contributing to the performance gap: an expectation that female students have prowess in some areas and men in other areas.
Behavior – Public Assertiveness or Private Effort
Beyond the performance differences elicited directly by student backgrounds, the research shows that another source of the gender gap is how female students behave in response to gender norms during the MBA program. According to the studies, female students show less public assertiveness, especially in technically-oriented classes, whether measured by their own report or by that of the peers. Female students who fared worse in technical classes tended to be those who hedged their assertiveness, as active learning (i.e., class discussions and study group meetings) is essential for mastering the material.

“In this context, assertiveness means asking questions of peers and professors that help elucidate class material – plain and simple,” says author Aaron Wallen, Executive Director of the Management Division at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies, and a former Lecturer at Columbia Business School.

“Our research shows that female students far too often hold back and hesitate to ask the kinds of questions that would help them better master technical concepts and procedures, perhaps because it is inconsistent with the established gender norms linking men with technical ability. This has a profound effect on their overall achievement in MBA classes.”

Fortunately, the studies show that female students do not internalize the gender norm, which would be reflected in their reduced academic effort. On the contrary, female students put in more private studying effort than male students, a result that held both in self-reports and the objective record of usage of the school’s tutoring services. The researchers conclude that this suggests that female students may recognize the costs of their reduced assertiveness and compensate somewhat by putting in extra effort in private.
Recommendations for Improvement
The authors offer recommendations for how leaders can institute policies that help close the achievement gap. They challenge some proposed fixes, suggesting that increasing the proportion of the class to 50% female will not solve the problem without prior measures to fix the pipeline of qualified female candidates. Some recommendations for increasing the supply of talented female applicants to top MBA programs include:
  • Sponsor programs that introduce technically-oriented female undergraduates to top MBA programs.
  • Conduct specific outreach to students in existing STEM programs who may not have considered an MBA degree.
  • Reduce required prior work experience so that students can enroll at a younger age.

The authors also suggest recommendations for how to address the problem of gender norms and assertiveness. As they note in the paper:

“Interventions for assertiveness often focus on women’s confidence or body language.  But this misses the point. ‘Lean in’ interventions that address the roots of the problem would work better than ‘lean on’ interventions that suppress its symptoms.”

They recommendations include training faculty and students in skills for eliciting and managing the participation of the people around them, a skill-set that is valuable in any work setting.
source: Columbia Business School
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 17:02
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Top business schools continue progress toward gender parity of their student bodies. Despite this progress, many top schools are struggling to effectively address an academic performance gap between male and female students. While pipeline issues have long been suspected as a leading cause of this performance gap, new research from academics at Columbia Business School probes deeper into underlying factors contributing to the gender performance gap.

Through a series of empirical studies, including a survey of MBA students at a top business school and a review of archival performance data (e.g., grades, GMAT scores) from multiple cohorts of students, the researchers uncover two driving causes of the performance gap: the background of students and their behavior in MBA classrooms.

The new research brings hard evidence to an issue that has been widely debated in recent years largely on the basis of anecdotes and opinions. The new studies show—consistently for several recent student cohorts—that the gender performance gap in MBA students exists primarily in technically-oriented classes like accounting and finance, but not in socially-oriented classes like leadership and marketing.

“These findings shed new light on the scope and source of the gender performance gap at top business schools,” said Michael Morris, the Chavkin-Chang Professor of Leadership at Columbia Business School and an author of the study. “But more importantly, they offer business school leaders directions for policies to effectively redress the grade gap.”
Background – Interests and Aptitudes
One source of the performance gap in technical-oriented classes is students’ backgrounds. Interests were assessed from entering students’ admissions applications as well as their responses to career counseling inventories. Not unexpectedly, given that psychological studies find consistent gender differences in interests from childhood onward, results revealed that more female students fit the “poet” interest profile and more men the “quant” profile.

A similar difference appeared when looking at GMAT scores, which was more surprising to the researchers given that such aptitudes do not appreciably differ by gender in the general MBA population.

These initial findings establish what top MBA programs are up against. From the very first day of the programs, male and female students differ on average in their interests, aptitudes, and the prior experiences that go along with them. This, in turn, gives rise to a key gender norm contributing to the performance gap: an expectation that female students have prowess in some areas and men in other areas.
Behavior – Public Assertiveness or Private Effort
Beyond the performance differences elicited directly by student backgrounds, the research shows that another source of the gender gap is how female students behave in response to gender norms during the MBA program. According to the studies, female students show less public assertiveness, especially in technically-oriented classes, whether measured by their own report or by that of the peers. Female students who fared worse in technical classes tended to be those who hedged their assertiveness, as active learning (i.e., class discussions and study group meetings) is essential for mastering the material.

“In this context, assertiveness means asking questions of peers and professors that help elucidate class material – plain and simple,” says author Aaron Wallen, Executive Director of the Management Division at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies, and a former Lecturer at Columbia Business School.

“Our research shows that female students far too often hold back and hesitate to ask the kinds of questions that would help them better master technical concepts and procedures, perhaps because it is inconsistent with the established gender norms linking men with technical ability. This has a profound effect on their overall achievement in MBA classes.”

Fortunately, the studies show that female students do not internalize the gender norm, which would be reflected in their reduced academic effort. On the contrary, female students put in more private studying effort than male students, a result that held both in self-reports and the objective record of usage of the school’s tutoring services. The researchers conclude that this suggests that female students may recognize the costs of their reduced assertiveness and compensate somewhat by putting in extra effort in private.
Recommendations for Improvement
The authors offer recommendations for how leaders can institute policies that help close the achievement gap. They challenge some proposed fixes, suggesting that increasing the proportion of the class to 50% female will not solve the problem without prior measures to fix the pipeline of qualified female candidates. Some recommendations for increasing the supply of talented female applicants to top MBA programs include:
  • Sponsor programs that introduce technically-oriented female undergraduates to top MBA programs.
  • Conduct specific outreach to students in existing STEM programs who may not have considered an MBA degree.
  • Reduce required prior work experience so that students can enroll at a younger age.

The authors also suggest recommendations for how to address the problem of gender norms and assertiveness. As they note in the paper:

“Interventions for assertiveness often focus on women’s confidence or body language.  But this misses the point. ‘Lean in’ interventions that address the roots of the problem would work better than ‘lean on’ interventions that suppress its symptoms.”

They recommendations include training faculty and students in skills for eliciting and managing the participation of the people around them, a skill-set that is valuable in any work setting.
source: Columbia Business School
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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New post 04 Dec 2017, 14:50
The 2017–2018 academic year is in full swing, and students in the Class of 2019 are—hopefully!—settling in nicely for their MBA studies. Around this time of the year, business schools release their latest class profiles to reveal their most recent incoming classes in more detail. Of course, no two classes are exactly alike. Some are smaller in size and enjoy a more intimate environment for their studies, while some are quite large and thus encompass an even greater diversity of students.

We at mbaMission examined the latest class profiles to find out which top-ranked schools welcomed the most sizable enrollments this year. More than 1,000 students enrolled at Columbia Business School in two cohorts, putting its Class of 2019 at 1,019 individuals. Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania were not far behind with 928 and 863 students, respectively. After the top three, class sizes were notably smaller—the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the fourth-largest program this year, welcomed 582 students, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University’s class consisted of 478 individuals. If smaller programs are more your thing, stay tuned for a closer look at the other end of the spectrum…

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Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2017, 15:12
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It looks like you used Columbia's admitted number (1,019) and not it's enrollment number (753). This would actually make CBS the third largest program behind HBS and Wharton.

BlogBot wrote:
The 2017–2018 academic year is in full swing, and students in the Class of 2019 are—hopefully!—settling in nicely for their MBA studies. Around this time of the year, business schools release their latest class profiles to reveal their most recent incoming classes in more detail. Of course, no two classes are exactly alike. Some are smaller in size and enjoy a more intimate environment for their studies, while some are quite large and thus encompass an even greater diversity of students.

We at mbaMission examined the latest class profiles to find out which top-ranked schools welcomed the most sizable enrollments this year. More than 1,000 students enrolled at Columbia Business School in two cohorts, putting its Class of 2019 at 1,019 individuals. Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania were not far behind with 928 and 863 students, respectively. After the top three, class sizes were notably smaller—the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the fourth-largest program this year, welcomed 582 students, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University’s class consisted of 478 individuals. If smaller programs are more your thing, stay tuned for a closer look at the other end of the spectrum…

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Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2017, 11:12
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Columbia Business School and Columbia Engineering have announced a new full-time Master of Science in Business Analytics degree, with a three-semester curriculum designed for those who want to focus on learning the modeling techniques and data science tools that help businesses use data to make better decisions.

A key element of the new degree program is a capstone project that provides an intense consulting engagement with clients and their real-world business problems using relevant data sets over the entire course of the three-semester study.

“The role of analytics has grown increasingly critical for most sectors of the economy,” says Mary C. Boyce, Dean of Columbia Engineering. “Our partnership with Columbia Business School combines our strength in data science, optimization, stochastic modeling, and analytics with their strength in data-driven decision-making for business and marketing to create a rigorous new Master’s degree program.“

Jointly developed by faculty at both Columbia Engineering and Columbia Business School, the M.S. in Business Analytics equips graduates for careers as analysts and associates in consulting firms, and business analysts and data scientists in the fields of financial and professional services, technology, advertising and media, and other professions where a deep understanding and practical application of data analytics are required.

“By tapping into the vibrant and diverse business ecosystem that can only be found in New York, Columbia Business School and Columbia Engineering are uniquely situated to offer this new Master’s degree,” says Glenn Hubbard, Dean of Columbia Business School.  “We see this as a must-do program for any future business person who wants to have a leg up in using data to make informed business decisions.”

Another key element of the M.S. in Business Analytics is access to career placement services. As a first step, students complete a required Professional Development and Leadership course and have access to dedicated career services.

“The M.S. in Business Analytics combines classroom instruction by distinguished Columbia professors with the experience of working on real-world problems via the capstone project course,” says Garud Iyengar, Professor and Chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in Columbia Engineering.

“We expect this program to have 100 percent placement of its graduates as do our very successful M.S. in Management Science and Engineering and M.S. in Financial Engineering programs,” Iyengar adds.

Applications are now being accepted for the first cohort, which will start in September 2018. Students have the option of taking a summer semester and completing the Master’s degree in one year, or can choose to take three non-contiguous semesters (fall, spring, fall).

For more information about the M.S. in Business Analytics, please visit: (http://ieor.columbia.edu/ba).
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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New post 19 Mar 2018, 13:59
An MBA degree is a desired commodity all around the world. Although top-notch business schools exist on nearly all continents, many applicants set their sights on U.S.-based programs. As a result, the incoming classes at top-ranked business schools in the United States typically consist of at least 30% international students. The Class of 2019, the latest incoming class, is no exception. We examined the profiles of incoming classes at top U.S. business schools more closely to find out which ones feature a notable percentage of internationals.

The Yale School of Management’s prestige undoubtedly helped the school attract the highest percentage of international students among the schools we examined; 45% of the Class of 2019 at Yale hail from outside the United States. At Columbia Business School, 43% of incoming students are classified as international, while the figure is 41% at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.Image
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New post 05 Apr 2018, 12:09
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Are you thinking of applying to business school this year? Perhaps you are just starting to prepare for the GMAT or GRE exam, or maybe you have not yet begun to assess your overall fit at the top business school programs. How will you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? Where will you start?

We know you have questions as you prepare to begin the application process.

The leaders in the MBA admissions space—mbaMission and Manhattan Prep—are coming together to make sure you will be ready for the 2018–2019 MBA admissions season. Join us for a free, six-part online event series that will answer all of your MBA admissions questions—from taking the GMAT (or GRE) to assessing your MBA profile and eventually applying (and being accepted) to the school of your dreams!

During the live online series, Senior Consultants from mbaMission will address and explain different significant admissions issues, while experts from Manhattan Prep will help you tackle some of the toughest challenges GMAT and GRE test takers face, offering valuable insight and advice.

These live online events will be held twice a week from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. EDT.

Please sign up for each session separately* via the links below. Space is limited.
  • Step 1—Tuesday, April 17, 2018: Should I Take the GMAT or the GRE?Applying to business school is a process rife with decisions, and a common one giving candidates some serious pause these days is which exam to take—the GMAT or the GRE? As the number of programs accepting the GRE continues to grow, aspiring MBAs are becoming more and more confused about this element of the application process. During this live session, learn how the two tests differ, which test specific MBA programs accept, how the content and scores relate, and other useful details—and move a little closer to crossing another important decision off your to-do list!
  • Step 2—Thursday, April 19, 2018: Which MBA Program Is Right for Me?During this event, mbaMission will elaborate on areas that will profoundly affect both your academic life and your social life in business school, including flexibility of a program’s curriculum, breadth of core courses, different methods of instruction, and varying sizes of the cohorts. Start preparing now so you can be sure to make an educated decision when you apply!
  • Step 3—Tuesday, April 24, 2018: What Factors Will Help Get Me into a Top MBA Program?In this session, learn to assess the quantitative and qualitative factors you bring to the table to better anticipate how you might be viewed by the admissions committee at the school of your dreams…and what you can do to improve that assessment!
  • Step 4—Thursday, April 26, 2018: How Do I Get a Top Score on the GMAT or the GRE? What is a “Harvard”-level score on the GMAT or the GRE? What level of difficulty should you be prepared to face to attain that score? Join our expert GMAT and GRE instructors to see the toughest content on both exams. Plus, learn strategies for overcoming it and achieving your goal score.
  • Step 5—Tuesday, May 1, 2018: How Do I Write a Standout MBA Essay?How can you write essays that grab the attention of MBA admissions committees? In this session, mbaMission will use this simple but often perplexing question as the starting point to a workshop for prospective business school applicants. Attendees will walk through a series of exercises that challenge them to uncover their personal and nuanced stories, craft compelling opening statements, develop meaningful goal statements, connect their goals to their target school’s resources, and more.
  • Step 6—Wednesday May 2, 2018: Top MBA Admissions Directors Answer Your Questions!During the final installment of our six-part series, mbaMission’s founder/president, Jeremy Shinewald, will facilitate a Q&A session with admissions directors at three of the top-5 business schools in the United States. Jeremy will take and share questions from attendees, while Bruce DelMonico (assistant dean and director of admissions at Yale SOM), Amanda Carlson (assistant dean of admissions at CBS), and Dawna Levenson (director of admissions at MIT Sloan) offer invaluable insight and advice.

We hope you will join us for these valuable events. Enroll for free today!
* Event recordings will be sent to all registrants within one week of the registered event’s completion.
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New post 30 Apr 2018, 10:59
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Columbia Business School has announced the following MBA application deadlines for the 2018-2019 admissions season.
AUGUST ENTRY
Early Decision Deadline: October 3, 2018
Merit Based Fellowship Deadline: January 4, 2019
Final Decision Deadline: April 10, 2019
J-TERM 2019
Application Deadline: October 3, 2018

***

Students may enroll in either August or January. The CBS admissions website notes that the paths are identical in terms of competitiveness of admissions, academic rigor, and student resources, but they differ in terms of timing and the opportunity to complete a summer internship.

The August entry has two review periods — early decision and regular decision. Because CBS uses a rolling admissions process, it is always to your advantage to apply well before the deadline.

All applications are due at 11:59 p.m. EST on the day of the deadline.

For additional information, please visit the Columbia’s MBA admissions website.
***

If you are looking for guidance on your CBS MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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New post 21 May 2018, 13:51
As the 2018–2019 admissions season quickly approaches, many MBA hopefuls have burning questions that they wish they could ask the admissions officers of top-ranked business schools. mbaMission is here to help!

Our founder and president, Jeremy Shinewald, recently hosted an online Q&A session with admissions officers from Columbia Business School, the Yale School of Management (SOM), the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the MIT Sloan School of Management. Check out some of the highlights and most pressing questions below before delving into the video:
  • One question on many applicants’ minds is whether the percentage of international applications declined in the most recent admissions season, and by how much. According to the admissions officers, international applications are indeed on the decline, but perhaps not as dramatically as some might think.
  • Many exciting things are happening at each of the schools represented in the chat. For example, Chicago Booth welcomed a new dean recently, while Yale SOM has welcomed a plethora of new faculty members.
  • Stay tuned for Yale SOM essays and deadlines for the 2018–2019 admissions season. Those will be out within just a few weeks!
  • Applicants who choose to take the GRE in lieu of the GMAT can ease their minds—all admissions officers agreed that there is absolutely no preference for one over the other!
  • Other popular questions included the following: Should applicants shy away from applying in Round 3, and does applying in Round 3 put one at a disadvantage? How about at Columbia Business School, which accepts applications on a rolling basis?
  • Deferred admission programs are attracting more and more interest. Are the schools taking advantage of this? Columbia Business School and MIT Sloan say yes but stay mum on the details for now.

For the entire in-depth discussion on these topics and much more, click play!
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New post 31 May 2018, 14:13
ImageColumbia Business School has released the application and essay questions for applicants starting in 2019. What we have heard from the admissions committee at CBS is that authenticity is key, and they are looking for candidates who are a great fit for the program and have the academic background to handle the rigor.

Columbia is a fast-paced program in a fast-paced city. The kind of MBA student who is a good fit for Columbia and it’s setting in New York City will be those that plan to take full advantage of the unique opportunities offered by the setting.

It’s up to you to prepare your case for admission with thorough research into the school. Speak to current students, alumni and research the classes and faculty at the school to understand the full offering at Columbia.

Columbia is looking for students who have big plans for their lives, MBA or not. Before you get started with this set of essays it will be helpful to brainstorm your career objectives, strengths and weaknesses, and to think about your overall future dreams.

Columbia offers several flexible options for admission, from full time MBA programs starting in the Fall, to a January entry session and an excellent executive MBA program. Columbia also offers an early decision option for candidates that are committed to attend the school.

The Columbia admissions cycle is rolling, so the earlier you submit your application the earlier you will receive feedback. We recommend you try to submit your application as soon as possible, while maintaining high quality.

Stumped by the Columbia essays? Contact Stacy Blackman Consulting to learn how we can help.

Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters maximum)

Examples of possible responses:
“Work in business development for a media company.”
“Join a strategy consulting firm.”
“Launch a data-management start-up.”

This is a deceptively simple question that requires you to condense your career goals into one clear career vision statement. As part of the question Columbia provides a few examples, which are concise and to the point.

If your goal is to work at an investment bank after graduation you could always just say: “Work in finance.” To try to add a bit more detail, consider adding a little more color. Something like: “Work in real estate finance for a private equity firm” tells the admissions committee far more about your interests and goals than just “work in finance” and sets the tone for the first essay.

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long-term dream job? (500 words)

This a question that drives at your short- and long-term goals and plans. The word “imagination” conjures up your aspirational dreams, not just your practical plans. Those who seek a top tier MBA at a school like Columbia have big dreams. You will be exposed to people and opportunities that will expand your horizons. Think about your true passions, and feel free to explore your big dreams.

As you talk about your future you may need to refer to your past career and personal experiences. As you consider what to say make sure you are citing only relevant examples from your career. Think about the experiences you can describe that were truly pivotal and can support your future goals. Your goals should have some logical progression from your past, but you can (and should!) show you plan to change and adapt.

For example, perhaps you want to be a general manager of a company or division, and right now you have been working primarily in marketing. You might spend your time at Columbia learning about finance and strategy, being part of consulting projects and interning at a start-up to round out your experience and start on your general management path.

Most importantly, Columbia wants to know who you are and how you are different from other applicants. Don’t try to be an ideal applicant, instead reveal your real personality, motivations, goals, and plans.

Essay #2: How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? Please watch this short video featuring Dean Glenn Hubbard (250 words)

A theme of the linked video is that Columbia bridges theory and practice. Because of the location in New York City, Columbia is at the center of many industries including finance, media, fashion and technology.

Columbia specifically takes advantage of the location by employing adjunct professors from industry, encouraging internships during the school year for MBA students, and frequent lectures and mentoring from executives in various businesses.

The question posed here is how will you, specifically, use these resources that are unique to Columbia? Will you take classes from an industry expert you admire? Intern at a target company or within an industry that interests you? What other resources in New York City or within Columbia are particularly interesting to you?

A mix of personal and professional interests may be covered in this topic, and you may want to emphasize either one of those angles depending on the answers you present to the other core questions. Specifics, specifics and specifics help you set yourself apart with this essay.

Know yourself and know the school. As you address this question make sure your answer is tailored to your individual goals for learning and career along with your knowledge of Columbia’s academic and professional opportunities.

Essay #3: Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part. If given a second chance, what would you do differently? (250 words)

The answer to this question can reveal quite a bit about how you work within a team, handle adversity, and turn around a bad situation. These type of behavioral essays work best with plenty of detail.

A structure like the STAR method is a good way to tackle any behavioral question. Make sure to set up the Situation, outline the Task you need to tackle, then describe the Action you took, and finally the Result of that action. Consider any team dynamics you want to describe and make sure to outline your own behavior.

Note that this a failure question, so your result may have been a bad one, and that’s perfectly acceptable for this essay. This question also provides a second chance for you. If the result of your story was not ideal, what would you change in retrospect? Did you learn anything that you have since applied?

Even if the failure was in the process and the result was positive, reflect upon how the team could have worked more productively along the way. Demonstrating the ability to reflect, refine your approach, and improve is a key signal of maturity.

Optional Essay: Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee? If so, please use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history. This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (500 words)

We recommend keeping this essay brief and only focusing on specific areas such as a low demonstrated quantitative abilities, lack of a recommendation from a current supervisor, gaps in work experience, or particularly low grades. It is best to explain the issue factually and succinctly, then explain how you have addressed the issue and why it should not concern the admissions committee in terms of your aptitude for the program and studies.
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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New post 31 May 2018, 14:14
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Columbia Business School has released its MBA application today for the 2018-2019 admissions cycle. Here are the revised essay prompts you’ll see this season.
ESSAYS
Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long term dream job? (500 words)

Essay #2: How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? Please watch this short video featuring Dean Glenn Hubbard (250 Words)

Essay #3: Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part.  If given a second chance, what would you do differently? (250 Words)

Optional Essay: Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee?  If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history.  This does not need to be a formal  essay.  You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

The MBA application to Columbia Business School is now live. Please visit the CBS admissions website for more information.

 
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If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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New post 05 Jun 2018, 12:06
Columbia Business School (CBS) has just released its essay questions for this year, and the Admissions Office is offering applicants “a little bit old and a little bit new.” Its micro essay (really just a goal statement, to be fair) and first essay remain unchanged, while its second essay is a repackaging of a prompt from two years ago, and its third is brand new. In the past, for its third essay, CBS applicants could choose from two prompt options, generally pertaining to their personal lives and passions; now, candidates must respond to a question about a team failure instead. In short, this year, applicants have less choice with their essays (though the word counts have not changed), and the topics involved skew slightly in favor of the professional and academic and away from the personal. Let us jump into our analysis…

Goal: What is your immediate post-MBA professional goal? (50 characters)

Twitter’s recently expanded character count from 140 to 280 looks positively luxurious next to CBS’s miserly 50 for this goal statement—and that includes spaces! To get a sense of how brief your opportunity really is, note that the school’s prompt is itself exactly 50 characters. With such limited space, this can hardly be considered a true essay, but you will need to approach this with the same level of thought and focus as any of your other written responses for the school. During mbaMission’s recent Q&A with several admissions officers, CBS Assistant Dean of Admissions Amanda Carlson told our audience,

That 50 characters really helps people to just break it down very simply for themselves and simply for us . . . . Pursuing business education, it’s a huge investment in time, in money, in effort, in energy, and I think this 50-character exercise is as much for the candidate as it is for our team, and we want to know that people are serious, they’re focused, and they’re ready for this kind of adventure.

So, this prompt is a no-nonsense request for information that is all about getting to the point and telling the admissions committee what it needs to know—that you have a clear and achievable goal. In the past, the school has provided a few sample responses, including “Work in business development for a media company” and “Join a strategy consulting firm,” illustrating that conveying the requested information in such a tight space is definitely doable and that you do not need to worry too much about grammatical issues (in other words, you do not need to start your statement with “I want to” or something similar). We like to offer the statement “Reveal true goals, not what you think CBS wants” as both our own example of keeping things concise and our advice on how to approach and fulfill this request.

Think about what you truly want to do with your career in the short term and state this aspiration directly. Keep in mind that the rest of your application will need to provide evidence that your stated goal aligns with your existing skills and profound interests, especially once they have been augmented by an MBA education. This will show that your professed goal is achievable and lend credibility to your statement. If you can do this in 50 characters (not words!), you will have done what you need to answer the school’s question quite well.

Essay #1: Through your resume and recommendations, we have a clear sense of your professional path to date. What are your career goals over the next 3-5 years and what, in your imagination, would be your long term dream job? (500 words)

CBS starts this essay question by more or less telling you not to recap your career to date, so we strongly recommend that you do so (and briefly, at that) only if context is absolutely needed for your stated goals to be understood and/or believable—perhaps if you are making a fairly remarkable career change. Pay particular attention to the phrases “dream job” and “in your imagination” with respect to the long-term portion of the question. The school is prompting you to be creative and perhaps even to challenge or push yourself to think big. CBS wants individuals who do not just follow prescribed paths according to someone else’s blueprint but who are aspirational and more inclined to forge their own way. This is not to suggest that if you have a more traditional plan in mind that you are in trouble or at risk of losing the admissions committee’s attention, but you may need to take a little extra time to consider your ambitions from the perspective of “what if?” and delve more deeply into what you hope to achieve to find the more personal and inspiring elements of your goals. Showing creativity and individualism here can only be helpful.

Although this is not a request for a textbook personal statement essay, your response will certainly involve some elements of the topics covered in such a submission, such as short- and long-term goals. The mbaMission Personal Statement Guide offers advice on brainstorming and crafting such essays along with multiple illustrative examples and so may be helpful in preparing your CBS response to this prompt. You can download your free copy here.

CBS does not explicitly ask how its MBA program will factor into the achievement of your goals, but if you feel that particular resources the school offers could or will be uniquely influential and advantageous to you as you advance along your path, we believe you have sufficient room and leeway to mention these. However, generic claims or empty pandering have no place at all in this rather compact essay. Any CBS resources you reference must be specific to your needs, and the cause-and-effect relationship between these resources and your anticipated success must be very clear. For example, an applicant might discuss the appeal and instrumentality of CBS’s Value Investing Program and 5x5x5 Student Portfolio Fund in his or her aspirations to one day break into the asset management world or later launch a hedge fund. We do not recommend going so far as to dedicate an entire paragraph to discussing school resources, but you might consider thoughtfully embedding a relevant reference or two into your submission to acknowledge the program’s role in achieving your stated career intentions. Or should we say dreams?

Essay #2: How will you take advantage of being “at the very center of business”? Please watch this short video featuring Dean Glenn Hubbard (250 Words)

We start our recommendation for approaching this prompt with a perhaps unorthodox suggestion: write down why you want to be at the center of business before you watch Dean Hubbard’s video. Why? Because after seeing Dean Hubbard passionately extol the virtues of the CBS program and New York City, you may inadvertently parrot hisreasons right back at the school, rather identifying your own. This is not to say that you cannot have any overlap with the dean, but you should not feel obliged to echo his rationale or simply do so unconsciously. And if you legitimately do have similar themes, certainly make them your own by framing or presenting them in a different way.

For example, Dean Hubbard proudly notes, “Many of our students take the opportunity to intern during the school year”; if that opportunity is appealing to you, go beyond just mentioning that you would want to complete such an internship and actually identify a target firm, a role, skills you want to develop, and how this would all contribute to your experience as a CBS student. Whatever your reasons are for wanting to attend CBS, keep in mind that in an environment that prides itself on fusing “theory and practice,” the key is not to consider what the program itself offers but to focus on how your overall experience will be enhanced by the school’s proximity to practical opportunities.

To effectively answer this question, many applicants will need to conduct some significant research about CBS and the program’s relationship with New York City. You must create and present a plan of action, rather than simply cheerlead for the school or the city. Strive to create a narrative that explains where and how you will grow through the opportunities available there and benefit from the immersive experience.

Essay #3: Please provide an example of a team failure of which you have been a part.  If given a second chance, what would you do differently? (250 Words)

No excuses. No shifting blame. The key here is ownership. You must discuss a team failure—one in which you were responsible for all or part of a process that led to an undesirable outcome. If you present a scenario in which others were the determinants of the ultimate failure (and you, by contrast, were perfect!), the admissions committee will deduce that you are not a reflective (or worse, honest) person and that you will therefore be unable to improve your approach to problem solving as a student in the CBS program. Clearly, the admissions committee would not want to select such a person for a position in the next incoming class. We are not saying that you need to have been the sole cause of a catastrophe for the admissions committee to accept your story, but you do need to show that you recognize how you could have better affected the team’s outcome. Maybe you failed to speak up at a crucial moment or to monitor another’s poor decisions, for example. You would not have been the direct or singular cause in such a case, but you would have still played a significant role and could have learned from the experience.

Although you have only 250 words for this essay, you must still present a complete narrative that shows momentum toward a positive outcome, presents the inflection point at which the situation turned, and explains how the original plan ultimately failed, all the while revealing your particular role in the failure. A mistake that many candidates make is discussing a failure and then revealing their involvement at the end of the essay, unrelated to the context of the story. Your takeaway from the experience—essentially what you would do differently if given a second chance—needs to be clearly supported by the depiction of the problems in your story. In discussing how you would have changed or improved the outcome, you are effectively explaining how you would have changed or improved the process, of course. And to achieve this, you cannot simply include a few basic statements like “I would create greater transparency in this process if given another chance” but must show that you have seriously reflected on the experience and would now have a better plan, both tactically and personally, for achieving success.

Optional Essay:  Is there any further information that you wish to provide the Admissions Committee?  If so, use this space to provide an explanation of any areas of concern in your academic record or your personal history.  This does not need to be a formal essay. You may submit bullet points. (Maximum 500 Words)

This optional essay question starts out sounding like an open invitation to discuss almost anything you feel like sharing with the admissions committee, but the second line (which was not part of the prompt last season) dials things in and puts the spotlight on addressing problem areas specifically. The additional directive about bullet points seems to be a not-too-veiled implication that the school wants you to focus on imparting key information rather than offering a detailed and long-winded explanation of the issue in question. Without a doubt, this is not an opportunity to share another cool story or otherwise try to impress or pander to the admissions committee. If you do not truly need to explain an issue or potentially confusing element of your candidacy (a poor grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT score, a gap in your work experience, etc.), we do not recommend that you submit an option essay; if you do have issues to clarify, keep things concise. In our mbaMission Optional Essays Guide, we offer detailed advice on when and how to take advantage of the optional essay, with multiple examples, to help you mitigate any problem areas in your profile.

Columbia Business School receives more than 5,000 applications each year. How will you ensure that your essays will grab the attention of an overworked CBS admissions officer? Join us on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, for Writing Standout Columbia Business School Essays, a free webinar during which an mbaMission senior consultant will help you conceptualize your essay ideas and understand how to execute them, so that your experiences truly stand out!

For a thorough exploration of Columbia’s academic offerings, defining characteristics, crucial statistics, social life, community/environment, and other key facets of the program, please download your free copy of the mbaMission Insider’s Guide to Columbia Business School.

The Next Step—Mastering Your CBS Interview: Many MBA candidates find admissions interviews stressful and intimidating, but mastering this important element of the application process is definitely possible—the key is informed preparation. And, on your way to this high level of preparation, we offer our free Interview Primers to spur you along! Download your free copy of the Columbia Business School Interview Primer today.
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New post 15 Aug 2018, 01:16
Starting this application season, the TOEFL is no longer required from international applicants (who attended a non-English-speaking undergraduate university) applying for Columbia Business School MBA program.

CBS is following other schools that do not need a TOEFL, such as MIT, Duke and Yale.

For more info on top MBA programs that don’t require the TOEFL, please visit: https://aringo.com/mba-programs-that-dont-require-toefl/
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New post 31 Aug 2018, 12:56
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Are you contemplating both NYU’s Stern School of Business and Columbia Business School for your MBA degree in the commercial dynamo that is New York City? I recently shared my thoughts on this tough decision in an article published by Find MBA.

NYC’s urban business setting is definitely an advantage for many career paths, including finance. At both Columbia and NYU, accessibility to recruiters and world-class industry experts and professors is unparalleled.
Why Columbia Business School Rocks
While Columbia’s academics are certainly on par with other top tier schools, its status as the only Ivy League business school based in Manhattan draws the most accolades from graduates. As the school claims, New York’s flourishing financial community — which includes Wall Street and thousands of multi-national corporations — is a “living laboratory” for students interested in discovering the business world up close through internships and frequent visits from top CEOs.

While Columbia’s academic strength is its Finance department, graduates from the program tend to have well-rounded interests, international connections, and a solid network of alumni willing to help them explore all their options.

Says one graduate: “Columbia Business School uniquely combines competition with cooperation — many times my fellow students sent me copies of their class notes before exams, and we studied together with ease. However, we all fought to make our best possible effort and to land the best job interviews possible.”
Why NYU Stern is Awesome
NYU boasts a diverse program, with full-time and part-time offerings for working professionals as well as a PhD program and even an undergraduate major. Students have the opportunity to learn from experts, studying with professors who are regularly quoted in The Wall Street Journal.

Case studies become real world experiences when students can examine an issue and then visit that business some mere blocks away. NYU Stern is committed to providing a top tier business education in the heart of the most diverse, vibrant business center of North America and its central location allows both full-time and part-time students to draw heavily from the city’s resources.

NYU typically shows more flexibility in admitting candidates. The school is more willing than Columbia to accept a candidate whose employer is not well-known or whose GMAT score is not high. One potential upside of this relative flexibility by NYU is that the program tends to attract a down-to-earth, humble student class.

“Any sign of competitiveness or arrogance was a turn off,” says a former NYU admissions officer who works at SBC. “We also were sensitive to those ‘leaders’ that were pushy or always needing to lead.”

Read more about NYU Stern vs. Columbia Business School, including a career outcomes comparison, on Find MBA.
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If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
Re: Expert advice for CBS from Admissions Consultant blogs &nbs [#permalink] 31 Aug 2018, 12:56
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